Patience – II

Sandy Koufax was one of the greatest pitchers in the history of baseball.  In his first 30 games, he had a record of 4-6 and earned run average (ERA) of 4.11.  He was wild and unreliable.

Randy Johnson had 303 victories in his major league career of 22 years.  He was named the best pitcher in baseball 5 times.  He pitched a perfect game when he was 40.  But in his first 30 games, he had a 9-11 record and an ERA of 4.56.

Bob Gibson was an all-star pitcher nine times and the league MVP.  His victories, career strikeouts, and ERA make him one of the all-time greatest pitchers.  In his first 30 games, he was 6-9 and he had an ERA of 4.05.

Nolan Ryan pitched for 27 years.  He has the record for most strikeouts in a career.  He also set the record for no-hit games at 7.  In his first 30 games, he was 6-10 with a 3.20 ERA.

Patience and hope are lined inextricably.  But in our results-focused society, patience seems to be a lost virtue.  Just imagine how the game of baseball was enriched with the patience shown by those four pitchers.  Would that patience be there today?  Probably not.

Why have we lost patience?  Can we no longer accept potential which has not yet been fully developed?  When did we start thinking of humans as an investment which needed an immediate return?

One potential result of the COVID-19 pandemic is a realization that people cannot easily be replaced.  We learned that we need to invest in their development and be patient with their growth.  We started thinking of potential rather than flaws.

It’s unclear whether patience as a virtue will become valued.  Patience requires understanding, faith, and a vision of what might be.  How do we develop these human traits?  Let’s hope for a breakthrough in human development.

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“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”

– John Quincy Adams

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